Arch-Brexiteer Gove says - No senior British ministers will resign over Brexit

Theresa May Sir Tim Barrow

REUTERS Yves Herman

The pound has been weighed down recently by a resurgent US dollar, weakness in the economy and fears that Prime Minister Theresa May will run out of time to agree a deal with the European Union for life after Britain leaves the bloc next year.

British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks Tuesday with her Dutch counterpart in a crunch week when she is due to thrash out with ministers the shape of trade ties with the European Union after Brexit. She was dogged, however, by questions about her plans and how she would unite the cabinet behind a strategy that could be the basis of negotiation with the EU.Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader, attacked Mrs May saying that her statement was almost 2,000 words but barely mentioned plans for Brexit.

Johnson's intervention on Twitter on Monday also appears to put him at odds with a minister in his own department, with Sir Alan Duncan earlier accusing Rees-Mogg of "insolence".

"The ideological right are a minority despite their noise and should pipe down", he added.

The Foreign Secretary said MPs should be "able to air their views" after Jacob Rees-Mogg was criticised for saying the Prime Minister must deliver the Brexit she promised or risk collapsing her Government.

North Dorset MP Simon Hoare said "the hectoring nonsense" and "blackmail" had to stop.

Former Conservative leader William Hague backed May's message, calling on ministers to come to an agreement rather than quitting which, he said, "will show they were not fit to hold their office in the first place".

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"If we don't deliver Brexit, if we're half in and half out, it's going to be catastrophic for the Conservative Party", she told the ConservativeHome website.

"Jacob Rees Mogg knows that", he said.

"The prime minister must stick to her righteous cause and deliver what she has said she would", Rees-Mogg wrote and referred to the demise of 19th-century Conservative leader Robert Peel, who found himself out of power when he broke a key manifesto pledge and split his party.

The row comes after the PM's chief Brexit official reportedly told ministers they had no chance of striking a bespoke trade deal with Brussels.

Mr Clark said the decision must be "guided by the facts and the evidence" and Mrs Leadsom said December 2020 was not a "magical date".

Ahead of a meeting of United Kingdom ministers later this week a report said officials had drafted a new option for how to handle customs with the European Union.

Their "max fac" alternative would, rather than scrapping customs checks, use now non-existent technology to minimise the need for them. Both have already been dismissed in principle by European Union officials.

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